Friday, July 13, 2007

Peacock Egg Hatching

A few weeks ago, I bought my husband about a half dozen peacock eggs as a birthday present. Our family has raised chickens for years, but my husband and I have been fascinated by peacocks. I've collected peacock feathers for years, and Andrew admired their their reputation as watchbirds (apparently they make an eerily human scream when strangers approach at night).

But alas, peacocks are expensive. I had thought attempting to buy a single bird, but peacocks, like other fowl, thrive best in flocks or at least pairs, and $200 for a pair of grown birds was beyond my means. Then I saw an ad for fertile peacock eggs, $3 apiece. I decided to believe it was possible that our hens might hatch them, and made the phone call.

Two days later, I brought home seven huge, cold greyish eggs in a cooler, wrapped in t-shirts for warmth, wondering if I had just wasted my money. My husband and I looked skeptically at the rounded rocks of egg and debated whether or not they had survived the trip, or if they were even fertile.

But the children believed that these eggs would produce the large magnificent birds they eagerly read about in zoo books, and they had hope.

And fortunately, we found four broody hens in our flock who were willing to sit on the lumps of eggs. So we watched the hens sit, and waited as the weeks went by. We adults doubted, and tried to prepare the children for the worst. But the children believed.

Then, two days ago, a week before we estimated anything would happen, our oldest daughter came and whispered in my ear with suppressed excitement: "Mom, one of the eggs is hatching! It has a tiny hole!"

Bright and early the next morning, she was outside in the coop watching as our first yellow peachick pecked its way out of the enormous egg. All rejoiced, and another followed successfully. The next two did not survive hatching, and the kids mourned over them, and we buried them. But this morning, two more tomb-like eggs began hatching.

We all know that eggs symbolize the resurrection, as the proliferation of chicken eggs on Easter testifies. But it took these exotic, unusual eggs and their miraculous rebirth to bring the lesson home to me.


Mrs. Pickles said...

That is so exciting!! I grew up on a hill in southern California where wild peacocks were numerous. My mother says she'll never forget the day when I was an infant that she saw a flock of them running across the roofs in our neighborhood. Some good friends of mine had a pair that roosted in the trees around their house. I loved hearing the human-like meowing cry when I spent the night at my friends' house. They are exquisite birds, and if you're a lover of beauty, certainly worth the hassle!

Pete or Kathryn said...

SO when can we come see???


Kristyn said...

How fun!

Ben Hatke said...

Regina, your story reminded me of the picturebook "Just Plain Fancy" by Patrica Polacco.

I think the local library has it. It is basically the same thing but this Amish girl likes the peakock and feels guilty about letting her hen hatch it.

How cool. good luck with the baby peackocks.


Love2Learn Mom said...

That is terrific!

Anonymous said...

We need peacock hatchling pics, Regina - please :))

regina doman said...

As soon as I'm done my book! Please pray for me! Two more days!

Anonymous said...

That's a great story. I enjoyed reading it! I hope to hatch some eggs like that soon too.

Lauren said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. We have a school project, and are near the beginning of lent...your story was educational and meaningful.

Thank you Lauren & Phoebe

ikechukwu said...

Hi Regina,

I am so envvious of such a wonderful expereince. I bought some hatching eggs last year, sadly they did not hatch.
Kindly refer me to the farm which
you bought your own good eggs from
cos I will love to give it another shot.

John walton